Saturday, April 30, 2011

Schedule vs. Routine

Oh cleaning - it is a challenge.  It's one that I'm trying to wade through and slowly finding some success on.

You see, I'm a rebel.  I hate lists.  And the minute I make myself  "schedule" I instantly have to break it.  Yes, I'm very mature.  I don't know why I'm like this.  But there, I admit it.

So how do I get my brain around this obviously defective thinking pattern?


Routines are like covert schedules.  They aren't written down, but somehow happen the same way each day all on their own.  Regardless of whether they are a "good" or "bad" routine - they are hard to break out of.  What if I could steer myself toward a "good" routine that helped me with some of my cleaning?

And that's how it started.

I already had lots of routines that I never even purposefully intended.  For example:

  • In the mornings, I make both boys warm milk for breakfast.  Every.single.morning.  I didn't sit down and write this routine out, it just happened.
  • After outdoor play, the boys always get a bath.  A natural consequence of their outside stench.
  • We always read a story to both boys before bed.
  • I sing the same song every night to Corbin.
We all have routines.  They often come naturally, or after awhile "feel" so natural that we don't even think about them even more.  So I've been working on a few more "routines" to help me out in the cleaning areas.

1. While the boys take a bath, I pick up and clean the bathroom.  Instead of just hanging out and watching them play (completely bored), I now go through my routine of wiping down the sink and counter top, and removing clutter.
2. During that chaos hour (you know, around say 5pm) when I really need a break, I step outside for a couple minutes and clean out a few items from my car.  This really helps cut down on the mess in my car.  This is not a complete clean out, but a quick trash pickup and carry in a couple items back to the house.
3. Every morning while the boys eat breakfast, I "refresh" the dryer and throw in another load of clothes into the washer.  I also put the dishes in the dishwasher away and fill it up again.

I'm starting small, but just getting into these few routines has really helped.  I'm really not at the point where I can completely "revamp" my cleaning, and I'm not really the kind of person that does well with lists or schedules.  But I figure I can train myself to form some new routines - and that works for me!

What do you prefer - routines or lists/schedules?  Do you have any routines that work for you?


Erin said...

I did well with schedules until I got an unpredictable factor in the form of I go with routines more. I made little habit changes, like expanding cleaning up after supper to also include tidying the living room floor. When I did it every day, it never took more than a few minutes at a time.

gsv said...

Routines are way more realistic than schedules, which seem too strict and inflexible for me. Though I still love lists.

Amanda said...

I would prefer routines...but I tend to not follow through unless it is absolutely necessary. For instance, the breakfast thing is necessary or the kids wouldn't be able to eat/drink...but cleaning the bathroom, while good isn't always necessary so I would probably slack on it b/c "what's another day?"

It seems that I have to schedule things and do them consistently and find that it truly works before it could ever become a routine. So I guess I have both. There are things I do consistently, but not really in regards to housework. I wish I could say I was the person who cleaned their sheets every Sat. morning (like a friend of mine), but I'm not. Do I want clean sheets weekly?? Sure, that would be nice, but I haven't scheduled it to be a routine so it's not happening.

So, I wish I was routine oriented, it would probably make life a whole heck of a lot easier, but I have to use lists right now and feel the small feeling of accomplishment as I mark things off the list.